We appeal gently when evil things are said about us. Yet we are treated like the world's garbage, like everybody's trash—right up to the present moment.
1 Corinthians 4:13 (NLT)
If you are like me, people talk about you and love to critique you. No doubt some of this is valuable and needed. Some is tough to hear but comes from a trusted friend and we know we need to listen and learn. Some even comes in our prayers from God. But some is just hurtful and untrue. At those times, I hate it when someone will say, "Don't be defensive." Heck, I am being unfairly attacked. That tends to put me on the defensive! Two things come to mind in light of the cited scripture.
First, even if my first reaction is to be defensive, do I respond in kindness? Not wimpiness or slobbering agreement – but as kindly as possible? Not becoming offensive. Being a Christian is less about feelings and more about being Godly in spite of our feelings. Christianity is a CHOICE to act a certain way. Gotta make the choice every day.
Second, does any one speak poorly of me? If not, is that because I stand for nothing? Jesus couldn't even cut it three years in ministry. The crowds hated him because he stood for God. No one wants to make enemies on purpose but a Christian, by listening to God and not the word around her, will naturally develop people who are offended by her standards. Do you stand enough for something Godly (not political or social) so as to cause some to respond in (extreme) dislike? One of the "Christian" attributes encouraged by some that makes me ill is that we should all be "nice." I am not completely sure I know what that means but I think it includes having no backbone, standing for nothing except where the wind blows us.
Kindness is our strategy but act up, Jesus did.